THE EARLY SUCCESSES OF
- e.g. Panzer III
- Modern German tanks.
- e.g. Stuka dive-bombers
- The most capable air force in the
world when war broke out.
- e.g. fallschirmjäger troops
- Overall the army was one of the
best fighting forces at the time.
- The Polish army was outdated.
For example Poland still had very
large cavalry forces operating.
It had barely anything that was
as technically advanced as
what Germany had.
- Blitzkrieg ("lightning war")
was used for the first time:
enemy defences and
targets were bombed by
airplanes and artillery,
which was followed by an
immediate attack by tanks
and motorized infantry.
(- The Soviets also invaded
Poland alongside Germany.)
DENMARK & NORWAY
- Both Denmark and Norway had small armies when compared
to Germany. Like Poland, neither had much chance.
- Denmark was only
important to Germany as a
neighbouring country to be
controlled and as a basis for
the invasion of Norway.
- Norway was an excellent
location for U-boat bases
and provided Germany
access to iron ore located in
3. French, British and Belgian 1. To the north of the main
forces were surrounded by attack, German forces went
the German advance to the for the heart of
English Channel. Holland & Belgium.
2. The strongest attack
went through the
which the French did not
defend against properly.
The French did not think the Germans would dare to attack through the
Ardennes forest as it was so thick. However, this is exactly what happened,
and the Germans easily trapped their enemies by advancing to the Channel
as had been planned.
HOLLAND & BELGIUM
- Holland's forces were outdated,
poorly equipped and had little
experience. Even Hitler himself
expected a victory in a week or so.
- Belgium had a similar situation.
It mimicked the French strategy of
using large fortifications to fend off the
Germans. Fort Eben Emael was
considered the strongest fortress in
the world, being resistant to heavy
bombing and housing 1000+ men
and various artillery, anti-tank and
anti-air guns. However, it was made
virtually useless by 70 fallschirmjägers
within 20 minutes.The fort's forces had
poor morale, little combat experience, didn't maintain their
weaponry properly and were victims of terrible organization in
FRANCE (& BRITAIN)
- Most of the best French troops and
British Expeditionary Force had been
surrounded in Dunkirk as a result of
Plan Gelb. Almost all of them
escaped to Britain over theChannel, leaving
behind a majority of both the French and
British heavy weapons and machinery.
- With not enough troops to hold the now
much wider front and nearly no heavy
weapons available, it was only a matter of
time before the German forces broke
through the French lines and took Paris,
effectively marking the end and success of